For All Mankind E3

This post will analyze the the Episode 3, titled “Nixon’s Women”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 2 “He Built the Saturn V”:

  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin return from the their crash land on the moon
  • Nixon orders NASA to win the “Race for the Base”, to be the first to have a lunar base
  • Ed is asked to testify against NASA, but he refuses
  • Ed resigns from NASA to return to the Navy
  • von Braun is confronted with his atrocities as a nazi and his image is tarnished
  • Deke asks Ed to come back and be part of Apollo 15
  • Nixon announces that they are in negotiations to end the Vietnam war
  • The last scene shows a Russian woman walking on the moon

Review of Episode 3 “Nixon’s Women”:

  • Nixon orders co-priorities of NASA are establishment of lunar base and a women on the moon, “preferably blond”
  • Deke must train 20 women astronauts, because there were none in the program at that time
  • Tracy Stevens because Nixon’s poster girl
  • Tracy doesn’t believe she belongs
  • Tracy helps fellow trainee in the desert survival phase
  • Patty is killed in a training accident

Inciting Incident: 

Nixon orders a co-priority to train a woman astronaut

Turning Point:

Tracy realizes she is being favored in the grading to graduate and become the poster girl for the women’s program.

Crisis Question:

Does Tracy quit or drive on? For tracy, the stakes are high: if she quits, she gives up her dreams and she gives up on herself. If she continues, she make take a position from a woman that truly deserves the position.

Climax:

Tracy chooses to continue.

Resolution:

Tracy helps a fellow trainee and proves to herself that she belongs.

Personal Story Notes:

Once again, the 5 commandments are met and there is still enough room at the end for a cliffhanger when there is an accident and the screenwriters do a great job of building the tension on who might be injured. It ends up not being Tracy, but Patty. Really good writing here.

Summary:

This series is really working for me and it is doing a good job following the 5 commandments for each episode. I’m super happy with the screenwriters here.

More Story Analysis

If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:

Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.

My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.

Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!

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The Story Grid

Story Grid Book

If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

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